Madison and Morgan County candidates prepare for Oct. 6 municipal runoff elections

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Several August municipal elections resulted in runoffs for communities across North Alabama. Tuesday voters will once again have the chance to cast their ballots.

There are three runoff elections in Madison and Morgan counties; Decatur’s mayoral race, Huntsville’s District 5 council seat, and Madison’s District 2 council seat, which was the closest race.

In Madison, the city council candidates who advanced to the runoff only had a little more than a five percent difference in vote totals.

Candidate Connie Spears received 38.1 percent. Incumbent Steve Smith received 32.6% of the total vote.

In a statement sent to News 19, Spears says she running because quote, “Our councilperson needs to be transparent and responsive to our citizens. Our citizens are tired of unbridled residential growth, increasing debt and lack of responsiveness from our councilperson. I will be a true representative of our citizens on the council.”

While Smith explained how he wants to help the city in his third term.

“I’m running for reelection so we can continue to manage our growth, invest in our community by improving our roads and parks, and bring in businesses that strengthen our bottom line,” Smith said in a statement.

In Huntsville, incumbent Will Culver almost clenched enough votes to avoid a runoff, but didn’t quite make the cut off.

Culver took home 49.65% of the vote. Candidate John Meredith received 36.93%.

Culver says his experience is an asset when it comes to serving the community.

“The experience I bring to city government, we’re talking about not just my 12 years on the city council, but you’ve got to go back to my years of public service, the 10 years as a police officer,” Culver said.

John Meredith says he knows District 5 can be better served.

“Right now we’re finding out what not having access looks like, and that is what’s happening with the police department – the local community push for reforms, the lack of transparency in that process the dissatisfaction with the explanations provided by the chief are all breakdowns in communication,” Meredith said.

In Decatur, a crowded field of 7 candidates was whittled down to two after the August municipal election. Incumbent Mayor Tab Bowling almost received enough votes to avoid a runoff, garnering 47.81% of the vote. William “Butch” Matthews received 17.08 % of the vote.

Bowling and Matthews say they both want to foster the city’s growth and address problems with sanitary sewer overflows.

“We’ve got to get that sewage fixed. That problem been going on too long. We just tiptoeing around like it’s not a big deal. It’s a big deal especially when you want people to move to the city,” Matthews said.

They also also they want to address complications that arise with stopping SSO’s as the city works to fix its roads.

“That’s going to end up doing a lot of damage to our streets as they make those improvements. We have to have excellent coordination between the organizations,” Mayor Tab Bowling said.

There is also a mayoral runoff election in Florence and Sheffield. And many cities across North Alabama have runoff elections for their city council seats.

For a full list of who is on the ballot – and access to election results visit this link to see our reporting on WHNT.com.

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